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3 homers lead Aviators past Isotopes

Cameron Rupp, Mark Payton and Franklin Barreto homered Sunday night as the Las Vegas Aviators beat the Albuquerque Isotopes 7-2 in a Pacific Coast League game before 9,513 fans at Las Vegas Ballpark.

The victory gave the Aviators (73-52) a four-game series split with Albuquerque (53-72) and kept them in a first-place deadlock with the El Paso Chihuahuas in the PCL Pacific Southern Division. The Chihuahuas beat Salt Lake 10-8 earlier Sunday.

Rupp hit his sixth homer of the season in the third inning for Las Vegas’ first run. Payton (26) and Barreto (16) each blasted two-run shots in a four-run sixth that added to a 3-2 Aviators’ lead.

Barreto also had a pair of singles.

Starter Sean Manaea (2-1) worked the first five innings for Las Vegas and secured the win. Manaea and relievers Jharel Cotton, Ben Bracewell and Miguel Romero combined to register 12 strikeouts.

Albuquerque starter Jeff Hoffman (6-7) took the loss after yielding seven hits, two walks and six runs.

Elliot Soto and Sam Hilliard each had two hits for the Isotopes.

The Aviators open a three-game home series against in-state rival Reno Aces on Monday at Las Vegas Ballpark.

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